Frank Lampard insist Antonio Rudiger Has Same opportunity As Every other Player

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he is “excited” at the prospect of seeing summer-signing Hakim Ziyech make his debut against Southampton on Saturday.

Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax in a £33.3m deal but suffered a knee injury in a pre-season friendly at Brighton on August 29, which has prevented him from making his competitive debut.

The 27-year-old played 30 minutes as a substitute for Morocco in a friendly against Senegal last weekend, and is now in line to make a return to club action as Chelsea host Southampton.

“Hakim Ziyech is in the squad – not fit to start but fit to participate some minutes we hope,” Lampard said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

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Zieych joined Chelsea from Ajax for £33.3m over the summer Picture credit: Chelsea FC

“We brought Hakim here and it feels like a long time ago now but he also has not played since the Dutch league finished during lockdown period.

Rudiger has same opportunity as every other player’

There is also fierce competition for places at the other end of the pitch, with Chelsea having held on to all of their centre-backs before the transfer window closed.

Despite being fully fit, Antonio Rudiger failed to make an appearance for Chelsea before the international break amid speculation linking him with a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger started both of Germany's Nations League matches earlier in September

Antonio Rudiger made three appearances for Germany during the international break

The 27-year-old played all three of Germany’s matches during the break, and Lampard insists he as much chance as any other player in the squad of holding down a first-team place.

“Every player can play their way into the starting 11, the squad, that’s in every players hands,” Lampard said. “That’s how I try and work here.

“So the players all know that and the beauty of the window now being shut is that we can get to work and know what the squad is.

“Everybody knows that they can contribute and we will need them and rely on them because of the amount of games we play and Toni is the same as every other player on that one.

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